Women's Basketball AP Top 25

Jan 21, 2002

Minnesota earned its first national ranking in nearly 20 years in The APwomen's basketball poll Monday, while Connecticut and Tennessee remained 1-2,and Stanford moved up to No. 3.

Minnesota, 8-20 a year ago, has made a dramatic turnaround under first-yearcoach Brenda Oldfield and joined the poll at No. 23, its first appearance sincethe 1982-83 season.

The Golden Gophers (14-3) came in after upsetting then-No. 5 Wisconsin 92-85Sunday before a sellout crowd of 17,000-plus at the Badgers' Kohl Center.

Connecticut has been No. 1 all season and was a unanimous choice for thethird straight week. The Huskies, 20-0 heading into Monday's game withdefending national champion Notre Dame, received all 45 first-place votes froma national media panel and had 1,125 points.

Tennessee (16-1), which lost only to Connecticut, held its season-long spotat No. 2 after victories over South Carolina and Alabama. The Lady Vols had1,080 points, and Stanford (18-1) moved up one place to third with 1,026.

It's Stanford's highest ranking since it finished the 1996-97 season at No.3. The Cardinal have won 10 straight games since a 68-62 loss to Tennessee onDec. 16.

Oklahoma lost to Iowa State but beat Texas and slipped one spot to fourth.No. 5 Duke, No. 6 Vanderbilt and No. 7 South Carolina each moved up one spotand Louisiana Tech climbed two places to eighth.

South Carolina bounced back from an 80-61 loss to Tennessee by beatingKentucky by 29 points.

The 92-85 loss to Minnesota ended Wisconsin's 15-game winning streak anddropped the Badgers four places to ninth. Purdue moved up one spot to 10th.

Big 12 teams held the first five places in the second 10.

Kansas State fell two spots to 11th after losing to unranked Oklahoma State,and Texas Tech went from 15th to 12th after beating two Top 25 opponents -Baylor and Iowa State. Texas fell one spot to 13th, Iowa State held at No. 14,and Baylor was 15th.

Virginia Tech went from 21st to 16th for the largest jump within the poll.Georgia, Florida, Colorado State and Colorado round out the Top 20.

North Carolina, Auburn, Minnesota, Boston College and Old Dominion held thefinal five places.

Minnesota has not had a winning season since 1993-94, and appeared in thepoll only 11 times before Monday. The Golden Gophers were 20th on Dec. 12,1982, and were in the final nine polls of the 1980-81 season.

Minnesota's victory over Wisconsin was its first over a ranked team since1995. Sophomore Lindsay Whalen scored 32 points in that game and leadsMinnesota with a 21.2 average.

After winning just seven Big Ten games in the previous four seasons,Minnesota is 4-2 in the league now.

'I think we've shown we can make a difference in the Big Ten,' Whalensaid. 'We're not just a team that everybody's going to walk in here andbeat.'

Arizona State (15-5), which joined the poll last week at No. 23, dropped outafter splitting two games. The Sun Devils beat UCLA but lost to SouthernCalifornia.

By The Associated Press

The top 25 teams in The Associated Press' women's college basketball poll,with first-place votes in parentheses, records through Jan. 20, total pointsbased on 25 points for a first-place vote through one point for a 25th-placevote and previous ranking

                        Record  Pts  Pv 1. Connecticut (45)      20-0  1,125  1 2. Tennessee             16-1  1,080  2 3. Stanford              18-1  1,026  4  4. Oklahoma              15-2    960  3 5. Duke                  15-3    921  6 6. Vanderbilt            18-3    899  7 7. South Carolina        17-2    806  8 8. Louisiana Tech        12-3    779 10 9. Wisconsin             16-2    773  510. Purdue                14-3    744 1111. Kansas St.            17-2    628  912. Texas Tech            11-5    624 1513. Texas                 13-3    606 1214. Iowa St.              14-4    532 1415. Baylor                14-3    469 1316. Virginia Tech         15-2    357 2117. Georgia               13-4    354 1618. Florida               13-5    353 1819. Colorado St.          15-3    276 2020. Colorado              13-6    236 2221. North Carolina        14-4    217 1722. Auburn                14-4    175 1923. Minnesota             14-3    168  -24. Boston College        14-3    126 2525. Old Dominion          11-5    111 24

Others receiving votes: LSU 67, Arizona St. 55, Iowa 37, TCU 25, Illinois24, Tulane 18, UNLV 12, Saint Joseph's 7, New Mexico 6, Drake 5, Notre Dame 5,DePaul 4, Michigan St. 4, Mississippi St. 4, Cincinnati 2, Michigan 2, SantaClara 2, Missouri 1.

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